This will be the sixth year for the annual Halloween fundraiser held by the Moose Jaw Firefighters' Association, which has grown in popularity each year and further cemented its reputation as a memorable holiday celebration each time.
The party is at the Masonic Temple of Moose Jaw on 1755 Main Street North on Saturday, Oct. 28, with things getting underway at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased from John's Music or Moose Jaw Toyota. The party is for ages 19 and up. Tickets typically sell out quickly.
"In the years we've done our Halloween party, we've raised over $20,000 for breast cancer research, and more thousands for (Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw) and the Moose Jaw Shrine Club," said Paul Busse.
Busse is a firefighter, frontman of the Paul Busse Band, and an organizer of local charity events including the Halloween Party. Busse and his bandmates received the 2022 Health-care Philanthropy Award from the Moose Jaw Health Foundation for their many years of support of the foundation and other charity events in the city, and he was one of six Moose Jaw firefighters to receive the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal in April.
The Paul Busse Band is one of two musical acts featured for the evening. They will be playing alongside local cover rock band The Kingsway.
The party will also feature 50/50 raffle draws, auction items, and prizes for best costume.
"We've never specifically narrowed it down to a theme in terms of costumes," Busse said, "it's kind of up to the guests and their imaginations. As far as the band, if we can get everybody on board we might try an '80s Hair Metal theme. Or maybe we'll go back even earlier into the '70s!
"I've seen people at our party who have had professional makeup applied, you know, 3D prosthetics, the whole bit. The guy last year who won the costume contest was Voldemort from Harry Potter, and he had a prosthetic mask on and was completely unrecognizable.
"We've had Wilson from Home Improvement, and the guy had taken popsicle sticks and made a little fence across the bottom half of his face. There's just no end to the creativity, and it is pretty fun."
The party is noted especially for bringing Moose Jaw's first responders and emergency services front-liners together.
Police, paramedics, RCMP, nurses, and doctors all spread the word to buy tickets and come help the firefighters.
"It's definitely a community effort on the emergency services side of things," Busse said. "They're always very generous to us in terms of attendance, and also with supporting with raffle prizes and donations, as well."
The benefiting charities for 2023 are the Moose Jaw Shriners and the Saskatchewan Professional Firefighters and Paramedics Burn Fund.
"The Moose Jaw Shrine Club are a group of selfless philanthropists who specifically help children, and we're all about that. We're happy to be working a local charity like them, and they've been really good with creating a working relationship with us," Busse said.
"And this year, the money we raise for the Moose Jaw Firefighters Charity Fund will be going to the provincial burn fund, which is the SPFFPA Burn Fund, officially."